Visual literacy requires clear communication through images; both creating and interpreting
I'm working on a lesson that promotes a love for reading while while giving students a chance to illustrate the idiom "jumping off the pages". Oh, here is how it might go...
I was digging through my old student project files when I came across a wordle.net project from December of 2008. Wordle was all the craze around then so, I wanted to try it with my 5th grade students. I had them type on a spreadsheet 75 words about them. The first five words were their name repeated since we wanted their name to be the largest word in their word cloud. I prompted them when they ran out of ideas with questions like:
Are you a brother, son, grandson?
What is your favorite after school thing to do?
What is your favorite in school thing to do?
What words would others use to describe you?
What words would you like others to use to describe you?
The project became very reflective. Students had to start digging deep to come up with their other 70 words. I did allow them to repeat a few of the most important words two or three times so the word cloud would emphasize them.
While they were working I pulled them to the green screen (which back then was actually blue roll paper) in the back of the art room to pose for their artistic photo holding a paint brush and wearing a smock.
We combined the word cloud image and the artistic photo using Keynote on the laptops. This was the only tool I had available at the time for masking out the background (using instant alpha) and easily layering images. We used drop shadows and frames as they designed their layout with overlapping.
If I were doing this project today I would have students do every step on the iPad using
1. Notes to brainstorm and write their 75 words
2. Word Cloud to paste in and create their cloud then design their layout
3. Superimpose to layer their images together, mask their photo, and save
I have a tutorial showing how to layer and mask images using the superimpose app here.
The images can also be layered in the latest version of the Green Screen app by DoInk now that you can resize images.
Before we started drawing students each had a turn at the interactive board to trace a "V" in the tree. This helped us make sense of the tree's design as we began to create.
My students fell in LOVE with the song that Ms. Tiedemann shared (see above). So, they asked me to put the words on the board so they could sing while they draw their giving trees. They called it an "emotional" song that brought more meaning to their art.
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This little video, Show of Hands, brings us into an altered world where hands are students and teachers to demonstrate that Visual Literacy really lends a hand in learning. This video was entered into the Rivers of Creativity Student Video Contest hosted by NextVista.org over the summer. We just learned today that it was chosen as a finalist in the collaboration category. We'll learn the outcome in September. Good luck filmmakers!
Students created this as a shadow play using the classroom projector and the interactive whiteboard. They added graphics through Mimio Studio software on our interactive whiteboard as a background. Our limited technology shows, but so does their hard work and creativity. Watch their behind the scenes video to view the process.
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View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT,
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